Wormwood Crow

A virtual crossroads of my own path and yours.

Month: April, 2013

Double Fisting Full Moons

            This month we had what I refer to as a Double Moon. This isn’t a Blue Moon, which is the second full moon in a calendar month, but rather a full moon two nights in a row. Generally speaking, a full moon looks pretty damn full three nights of the month assuming one of those nights is when the full moon actually occurs. The first and third nights have near-full moons, but an observer can still detect where the moon seems to be lacking a little either on its left or right side.

            A Double Moon occurs when the moon is technically at its fullest during the day sometime around noon. I arbitrarily assign a -2/+2 hours to noon. If the full moon for that month is at its fullest between 10am and 2pm (PST), I’ve always had a hard time determining which night is showcasing the more full moon. Is it the night before? Or the night after? Which night lays more claim to the full moon if it’s at its fullest during the middle of the day? My naked eye cannot tell the difference. The simple solution was to accept that that month has two full moons in a row.

            What does that mean? Well, really whatever you want it to mean for the full moon. Two nights in a row of Esbat ritual. Two nights in a row of spell work. Two nights in a row of consecration. Two nights in a row of anything you can concoct that needs getting done at the full moon.

            That being said, it’s important to voice the troubles that arise with back-to-back ritual or spell work that are particularly draining. With no time in between activities to recuperate, your body is going to feel the impact of burning the candle at both ends. On the plus side, you get two nights to put things into motion you might otherwise have to wait a month to do. Or try to cram multiple activities in a single night, which is probably even more strenuous than a double-nighter. I find planning one night of heavy-duty work and one night of lighter tasks tends to leave me still feeling functional the rest of the week rather than spacy or lethargic. This month I performed a job-related spell for a friend of mine on the first night when midnight heralded Thursday. The following night I kept it simpler with dedications of ritual items for the upcoming Sabbat. Yes, the following day I came down with a severe case of allergies, but I attribute that more to the fact that it’s been 90+ this week here and dry, dusty weather is my kryptonite.

Another benefit: if your group regularly meets on a full moon but you really need to get something accomplished solo, you then have a second full moon night in which to do it. Naturally, you run the same risk of burning out if you’re performing heavy work two nights in a row, so you may want to let your group know and make arrangements for playing a smaller role on the group’s night together.

So how often does a Double Moon occur? I’m glad you asked! Because I just spent the last two hours going over my notes and making a spreadsheet to lay it all out in the open for you and me.

Year

Number of Double Moons

Months

Featuring a Double Moon

Active Zodiac

during Double Moon

2001

3

Jan

Sept

Nov

Cancer

Pisces

Gemini

2002

3

Mar

June

Dec

Libra

Capri.

Gemini

2003

3

April

July

Dec

Libra

Capri.

Gemini

2004

3

May

July

Nov

Scorpio

Aqua.

Gemini

2005

3

Mar

May

Aug

Libra

Sag.

Aqua.

2006

2

June

Sept

Sag.

Pisces

2007

2

April

Sept

Libra

Aries

2008

3

Mar

June

Oct

Libra

Sag.

Aries

2009

3

June

Nov

Dec

Sag.

Taur.

Cancer

2010

1

Aug

Pisces

2011

5

Jan

Mar

June

Aug

Nov

Cancer

Virgo

Sag.

Aqua.

Taur.

2012

4

Feb

April

July

Oct

Leo

Libra

Capri.

Taur.

2013

3

Feb

April

July

Virgo

Scorpio

Aqua.

            It’s interesting how readily we’ll accept early indications of patterns as some sort of cosmological truth. If I had started this spreadsheet back in 2001 I would have accepted three Double Moons as a norm and spent weeks fixated on the significance of Gemini by the time 2004 rolled around. If I had access to a program like SPSS right now I could play around with this crude chart and look for other potential patterns. I could seek out almanacs that date before 2001 to increase my sample size. I could check those almanacs for other significant indicators that could be added to this chart and see if any patterns actually appear then. But statistics has never been near and dear to me, so I will just make note that this July we have another Double Moon and will plan accordingly so I don’t burn myself out.

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Seminal blog

Three weeks after Ostara I call time-of-death on the triplets. Though I’m not sure you can call out the death of something that never showed signs of life in the first place. Three terra cotta flower pots, each housing its own smattering of seeds, continue to lie barren. Rosemary, sage, and lavender. I had been told they practically grew themselves. Apparently my thumb is blacker than it is pale and unaccustomed to toiling in the great outdoors: my backyard. Pity… I envy those who can beckon life from soil, bond with greenery, and otherwise enjoy a connection with their herbs. This seems especially important if you have intentions of a magical nature. A pinch of mugwort and a sprig of comfrey harvested from one’s own garden possess an air of authenticity seriously lacking from my order-by-mail herbal acquisitions.

Of course, one can be an all-powerful witch and never lay eyes on a trowel, but I’m not actively opposed to getting my hands a little dirty for my craft. I just don’t think plants like it when I touch them. My front yard follows city ordinance guidelines with military precision. Hence, it is bleak and uncreative. My backyard, on the other hand, is an ever-changing kaleidoscope of seasonal weeds, some resilient brush and a handful of stalwart fruit trees that appear to maintain themselves best with benevolent neglect from me. I can sit in my yard, listen to the birds, watch the bees, and be mercifully passed over by the creepy-crawlies of both land and air as long as I don’t touch anything. No pruning, no watering, no tilling, and naturally no pesticides. We have an understanding.

Starter plants would make more sense if I were to attempt a little in-home garden, but I fear my constitution too weak to watch fledgling plants wither in the pot despite my best efforts. Seeds which never germinate also never decay.

A seminal topic seemed appropriate for my seminal blog entry. Especially for this spring season. Seeds are interesting symbols. I think they’re most widely recognized as an expression of latent power yet to bloom. I tend to view them as thresholds; Species A stepping through the door away from the old body and into the new—continuation. The latent power is inherent, imbedded in the genetic material, proven time and again for generations. Amazing engineering, yes, but the real power comes from consciously recognizing the differences between one form and another or one phase and another. Old Tree to Seed to New Tree. We see seeds as symbols of latent power in the moment, but that particular example loses impact when Seed becomes New Tree, when power stops being latent and becomes manifest. Consciously meditating on the transitions, with the luxury of hindsight, better prepares us for handling changes in our lives that will inevitably transition us physically, mentally, emotionally, and/or spiritually with or without our consent.

Each moment of my life is a time when Old Me is being replaced by New Me, and that happens because multiple influences are effecting me, planting seeds of change. Some of these seeds of change I choose to cultivate, hoping for sweet fruit. Some seeds pop up like tenacious weeds, usually a result of uncontrolled behavioral or cognitive patterns that repeatedly resurface. Some seeds get blown in by the winds of the wider world. No man is an island.

So I view each seed as that moment where Old Me is making way for New Me. As an old tree will topple and revitalize the soil with its decay, so too will my Old Me provide the nutrients needed for New Me to flourish: memories, experiences, common sense, emotional stability, physical well-being, knowledge, etc. The seed IS New Me, certainly, but it is directly from Old Me. While New Me’s latent power may remain dormant a while, that seed was created because Old Me knew it’s time was coming to a close. Change is inevitable so it’s best to put the best of Old Me into the seed and hope New Me has a better go at it. The threshold was crossed with the making of that seed. And now knowing the seed is there, it’s time to consciously turn attention to it to see it has the best chance.

Three weeks ago on Ostara I found my flower pots still barren weeks after planting some seeds. Last week on my birthday I recognized myself cultivating seeds of connection and community that I started some months ago here online, first on Youtube. I’m not a particularly gregarious individual, and online social etiquette continues to mystify me, but I appreciate the online gardens others have cultivated for the world to see. So here’s my little terra cotta flower pot for the world to see. I don’t know if anything worthwhile will bloom from it, but it might be the season to get my hands dirty.

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